New Criticals

Let me explain. In the two courses my Claremont College students and I taught in the prison, the cruel, arbitrary, changing conditions of access to education (through the administration's definitive and seemingly random control of tools, space, people, and technology) was our greatest obstacle. A piece of media might be approved through the prison's slow and strange procedures of vetting only then not to show up on the day it was on our syllabus. Teachers might volunteer and get to the prison for the weekly class only then not to be allowed into the prison because of an unexplained change in their entry status. In the most chilling of such whimsical and punitive closures of access (for me at least), my course Learning from YouTube Inside/Out—where I was planning to continue my teaching at Norco this Spring semester by building a section of this tech-focused tech-dependent class Inside with 10 inmates and 10 Claremont students albeit with quite limited access to technology—went through a lengthy and controversial approval process only to be closed down on its first day (why the class was cancelled was never explained to me or enrolled Pitzer or Norco students, but I do believe it was closely related to the proximity between my pedagogic aims and social media). I never got the chance to work through the questions which had moved me to organize this class in the first place (I write with great enthusiasm about what will happen in the course that never happened on this blog, rather chillingly in this context called Lady Justice) where I wrote: